KwaZulu-Natal’s North Coast, the 80km stretch along the coast north of Durban from Umhlanga Rocks to the mouth of the Tugela River, is also known as the Dolphin Coast. The combination of a narrow continental shelf and warm, shallow waters creates ideal conditions for attracting bottlenose dolphins, which come here to feed all year round. Though the chances of sighting a cetacean are fairly high, you’d be unwise to base a visit solely around this possibility.
Less tacky and developed than the South Coast, the North Coast attracts an upmarket breed of holidaymaker, especially to the main resort of Umhlanga Rocks, which is within easy striking distance of Durban. While the Dolphin Coast is still pretty much dominated by whites, the inland towns of Tongaat and KwaDukuza, linked by the old R102 road, have substantial Zulu and Indian populations, with Indian temples at Tongaat and the Shaka memorial at KwaDukuzu. Also on the R102 is the grave of one of the ANC’s best-loved leaders, Albert Luthuli, at Groutville.